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CPAir & Pacific Western

Thu Jan 19, 2006 11:46 am

Hello everyone!

Has anyone here flown either CPAir or Pacific Western? I passed up the opportunity to fly on CPAir from SFO-YVR during Expo 86. I ended up flying Cathay Pacific on the route because that was my first normal-sized 747 (I flew on a Pan Am 747SP from SFO-LAX).

How was their service? Was the service anything like flying today? Pretty vague, I know.
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RE: CPAir & Pacific Western

Thu Jan 19, 2006 2:07 pm

PWA=Please Wait Awhile! I always liked the way CPAir gave their aircraft titles such as,Empress Of Tokyo,Empress Of Vancouver,etc,it seemed to add such a classy touch to what has now become just mass transit.
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RE: CPAir & Pacific Western

Thu Jan 19, 2006 2:46 pm

I've flown both PWA and CP. The PWA trip was an early morning 737 from SEA to YVR via Victoria (sorry about that). Needless to say, it was a quiet trip, no inflight service, and we cleared Canadian customs in Victoria. Everyone re-boarded and I guess some intransit joined, and it was a quick trip to YVR. I just remember the A/C being spotless and the crew efficient (15-20 minute legs each).

CP is a different story. I worked for a major cruise line at the time and this was during our summer Alaska season. Quickly, I had to fly out to Victoria to replace a crew member. The only flight the company could get me on was CP first class SFO/YVR and AC YVR/Victoria (sorry again). When I got to SFO (the old, old International terminal - Concourse A I believe now), I went to the CP desk to check-in. Since I was joining a luxury cruise ship, I had a lot of clothes (uniforms, tuxedos, all seasons stuff). There was no question about how much I had - I was first class. I was issued an invitation to the joint first class lounge on the upper level. Lovely - a friend met me for drinks (yes, guests were allowed then). When it was time to board, I made my way down to the gate (5:30 pm - quiet) and boarded a 737. The first class cabin was set up beautifully. Comfortable seats, foot rests, slippers and eyeshades on the seats (~1:45-2:15 flying time), and a printed menu.

Drink orders were taken between the demo and taxi. There were 2 F/A's working the full 8 seat cabin. There was also a deadhead F/A in uniform (jump seat), so he helped as well. Very shortly after t/o, the crew was around with cocktails in the proper glass - I'm sure there were peanuts...

Then the meal service began. EVERY course was served from the cart! From appetiser to dessert, all courses were "plated" at the seat. Ah, shades of trips past! Of course, there were two entree choices. The appetiser course was a lobster salad with a julienne of lettuce over chilled aspic. The main course I chose was a great leg of lamb. Not carved at the seat, but still plated. I think the other entree was fish. After all that, the cart came around with dessert, cheese, fruit, and crackers; cordials and coffee.

It was very difficult for me to land - I didn't want this dream to end. All went well, I had a pass to the AC Maple Leaf Lounge to wait my two hours. Cocktails were complimentary, the other two pax friendly, and I made my connection to an AC DC-9 for the looong flight to Victoria (19 minutes?).

It's too bad those two distinguished carriers are gone. When PWA acquired CP and became Canadian, I have no idea of how things were. All I know is that everytime I've flown a Canadian carrier, CP has set the standard for me. Yes, I know - those days are gone, but fondly remembered.
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RE: CPAir & Pacific Western

Thu Jan 19, 2006 10:15 pm

I remember flying CPAir from FCO-YYZ via Mirabel in the 80s aboard a DC-10. I was a kid then but remember seeing the big Orange beauty on the tarmac and was thrilled. I remember the service being great and even getting to go into the cockpit for a look and chat with the pilots. Oh those were the days! Wish I had started recording registrations back then but did not for that flight.

As for Pacific Western, in the early 90s I flew SEA-YVR roundtrip. Both aircraft were painted in PWA colours but I believe the merger had taken place and it was Canadian Pacific/Canadien Pacifique? Very friendly service. Even remember the Smothers Brothers on the flight back from YVR!  Smile

Also when the airlines merged and the carrier started a MDW-YYZ trip I took the flights and remember always finding it cool to see if you were on an old EPA, Nordair, CP Air or PWA 737 by the tail registration. I did write those down!
Landing on every Continent almost on an annual basis!
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RE: CPAir & Pacific Western

Thu Jan 19, 2006 10:26 pm

Quoting Wedgetail737 (Thread starter):
Was the service anything like flying today?

No disresepect intended, but it's obviously been a while since you've flown within North America. From an In-Flight experience point of view, cherish the memories!!
Above and Beyond
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RE: CPAir & Pacific Western

Thu Jan 19, 2006 11:05 pm offense taken. I've flown quite a bit in recent days, but not a whole lot back when CPAir and PWA were flying. Like I said, the only Canadian flight I took was on CX from SFO-YVR because I wanted to get on a 747.

Outside of no meals and fewer flight attendants, flying on AA, UA, DL and US (or AL, take your pick), was fairly typical. There were more trinket type stuff like playing cards.

With the exception of my first flight, which was between SFO and CHS (via ATL) on DL & EA, all of my other trips were short haul (mainly OAK/SFO to LAX). I was a big fan of AirCal and USAir (back when they had 727-200's). I flew HA from SFO-HNL back in 1985 and those flights sucked...bad service and attitude.

Yes...with my limited exposure to flying back then...those were the days.
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RE: CPAir & Pacific Western

Thu Jan 19, 2006 11:16 pm

In the "good old days" flying on PW was no better/worse than the American carriers mentioned. Alot of milk run routes, getting you comfortably from A to B.

CP was definitely a cut above the rest even in Economy Class. Very focused on food and amenity presentation. Lots of china and silver service even in the back of the bus, and nice touches like magazine presentation, cards and cribbage boards available, etc.

Complementary food service has all but been obliterated within North America in Y/C and the focus amongst the LCC's and slowly some of the legacy carriers (AC) is cabin environment. Improved seating, cabin comfort and In-Flight entertainment seems to be the current/next trend.
Above and Beyond
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RE: CPAir & Pacific Western

Thu Jan 19, 2006 11:22 pm

In the early 80's I took a flight with Pacific Western from YYZ to YLW with a stop in YYC. I spent most of the flight to YYC in the flight deck speaking with the pilots and enjoying the view from the jump seat. The cabin crew even brought lunch into the flight deck for me.(Still one of the best flight experiences I've ever had) The entire crew was very friendly. The return flight was spent in the regular cabin which was comfortable. The cabin crew were very hospitable and cheerful and service was very nice. I had numerous flights with Canadian Airlines and always found their service to be exceptional. The crew always seemed to be in a cheerful mood and made the flight a pleasant experience. I miss the that type of service in today's airlines.
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RE: CPAir & Pacific Western

Thu Jan 19, 2006 11:54 pm

I kind of kick myself for not flying CPAir. But the service on CX was excellent, also!
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RE: CPAir & Pacific Western

Fri Jan 20, 2006 12:13 am

Quoting Globalflyer (Reply 3):
As for Pacific Western, in the early 90s I flew SEA-YVR roundtrip. Both aircraft were painted in PWA colours but I believe the merger had taken place and it was Canadian Pacific/Canadien Pacifique?

Close, but no. Pacific Western bought Canadian Pacific/Canadien Pacifique (the same thing, just spelled in english and french) in I think 1986 or 1987 somewhere in there give or take a few years and merged the two together to form Canadi>n Airlines International (the Canadi>n purposly spelled that way, they didn't do it just to stick in a logo it was to make the name bilingual as well).

All the best
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RE: CPAir & Pacific Western

Fri Jan 20, 2006 2:18 am

There is a really good article about the history of Pacific Western in the latest issue of Airliners Magazine. Certainly be sure to check it out...some of you might know the author Wink
Mark McWhirter...Contrails Photography
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RE: CPAir & Pacific Western

Fri Jan 20, 2006 3:48 am

Quoting Tbear815 (Reply 2):
(sorry about that).

Why do you keep apologizing in that story?
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RE: CPAir & Pacific Western

Fri Jan 20, 2006 4:07 am

I remember flying CP a lot when I joined my dad on business trips - once we flew from YYC to YYZ on a DC-10 - I was in Y, while dad was in Empress Class (business). An FA asked me to move so 2 people could sit together, so I obliged, and to acknowledge my cooperation, he brought me a pack of all the kids' stuff they had on board (postcards, slippers, books, etc.) Shortly after that, when he learned that my dad was in Empress Class, he took me up front to sit with my dad (probably the only time I've been 'upgraded'...) Got a window seat & had a great steak for lunch.

Probably flew on all types in their fleet - 747, DC-10, 737, 727 - everything but their DC-8s. Loved those orange jets...

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RE: CPAir & Pacific Western

Fri Jan 20, 2006 5:41 am

I recall flying First Class on CPAir from YYZ-YVR, then YVR-LAX.

I could fly free on our own flights YYZ-LAX, but I wanted to try out CP and see what all the fuss and talk was about. I was astounded, the service was a huge cut above the rest, and it was a pleasure from start to finish.

I think the thing I remember the most, was walking into the DC-10 First Class section from the rear, as the aircraft boarded from the middle, and the Purser came up to me:

"Good morning Mr. X, my name is Van, I would like to personally welcome you about Canadian Pacific Airlines. Your seat is 2A, I will take your coat. Would you like champagne or orange juice before take off?"

How did he know my name, or where I was seated. I peaked in the galley during the flight and saw notes he received from the checkin counter (I assume) showing what passengers where wearing, so he could greet them by name.

I simple gesture .... but HUGE in my books.

I drank a lot of coffee on the flight, (A vice of mine). When I boarded the flight in YVR to LAX, the purser again greeted me by name, then gave me a mug and said, "here, Van said you'd want this!"

I laughed all the way to LA!
Just because I stopped arguing, doesn't mean I think you are right. It just means I gave up!
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RE: CPAir & Pacific Western

Fri Jan 20, 2006 7:21 am

Way back in early 1970s I flew from HKG to YVR on CP then to YYZ on AC.. I have no memories during that time because I was only 2yrs old according to my parents. However in 1993 in November I flew on CP from YYZ to HNL then onto NZ to AKL then to SYD. CP renamed Canadian Airlines International
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RE: CPAir & Pacific Western

Fri Jan 20, 2006 7:52 am

My choice of username expresses the love for my favourite airline and aircraft combination. Although I did fly the 747-200, DC-10-10 and DC-10-30 with CP Air, I was too young to remember many of the details of the inflight service itself. But the livery, love it or hate it, has to still rank as one of the most distinctive of all time.

I can remember the 747-200 landing at NAN (routing YYZ-HNL-NAN-AKL) and having some oxygen masks fall down on a rather rough landing  Smile

Lucky727, you are lucky indeed to have flown on all those CP Air flights

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